Hyundai-Kia To Weigh Its Commercial EVs To Boost Electric Range

Hyundai-Kia To Weigh Its Commercial EVs To Boost Electric Range

05/28/2019

By estimating gross vehicle weight on the move, commercial vehicle performance could be modified to increase range.

Hyundai Motor Group (Hyundai and Kia) announced the development of the world’s first system that optimizes the performance of a light-duty commercial electric vehicle depending on the estimated gross vehicle weight to maximize range.

The South Korean manufacturer intends to increase the efficiency of the vehicle a little bit by modifying available torque as a function of weight (less torque to be available when carrying less payload).

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The gross weight is estimated on the move by utilizing low-cost acceleration sensors. The knowledge of the weight of the vehicle enables to more accurate calculations of the remaining range and to optimize the performance of the powertrain. In the future, also topography could be included in the equation.

“The ability to calculate the gross weight of a vehicle on the move means that an electric vehicle’s torque output can be optimized to maximize estimated remaining range. This reduces potential wheel spin and reduced traction when a vehicle is carrying less payload, increasing commercial efficiency. The new technology also allows for changes in torque output based on topography, altering the amount of torque needed to propel a vehicle uphill based on its gross weight and allowing small business owners to effectively reduce unnecessary vehicle-related costs.”

“Price competitiveness is key to the success of future electric light duty commercial vehicles for small business owners. Keeping this in mind, Hyundai Motor Group developed the gross weight estimation technology by utilizing acceleration sensors instead of weight sensors; developing the technology in this manner means that it can be applied to a vehicle not equipped with a costly air suspension system.

Using acceleration sensors, gross weight is estimated through Newton’s law of acceleration. In short, the less mass and more energy put on matter, the faster speed it moves. So, when pushing an object at a constant speed, the weight of the object can be calculated depending on its acceleration rate.

Through this process, the vehicle estimates the distance it can drive and adjusts its maximum torque output. Specifically, the potential vehicle range estimate is based on the accurate measurement of the current weight and speed of the vehicle, enhancing efficiency for commercial use.

For example, when the vehicle is carrying a heavy load, the vehicle automatically informs the driver of the estimated drive range to secure sufficient battery life to reach the destination safely.”

Chae Mo Yang, Group Leader of Eco-Technology Performance Development Group said:

“Hyundai developed this technology because we realize that we need to take a different approach when it comes to developing electric vehicles for commercial use. We are preparing for a future where we will be able to offer commercial EVs that operate at its optimum specifications under any given road condition and regardless of how much payload it is carrying. These vehicles will be very economical to operate.”

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